In new audio, McCarthy worried comments by certain GOP lawmakers could incite violence after Jan. 6

In new audio, McCarthy worried comments by certain GOP lawmakers could incite violence after Jan. 6

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., feared that remarks by fellow Republican lawmakers could jeopardize the safety of other GOP members of Congress after the Jan. 6 riot, according to new audio recordings from just days after the attack on the Capitol.

The recordings from a Jan. 10, 2021, call obtained by The New York Times shine a new light on the intensity of McCarthy’s private concerns about members of his own caucus at a time when his public appearances downplayed those worries.

In the newly released audio, McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., name several Republicans in Congress whom they saw as potential threats to other GOP lawmakers.

Both McCarthy and Scalise can be heard at one point raising concerns about Republican Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who spoke at a rally on Jan. 6 before the riot, and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

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“He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy said of Gaetz, who had criticized Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on TV after the riot. “And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”

Scalise further suggested that Gaetz was crossing legal bounds.

“It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” Scalise said.

McCarthy was also critical of Brooks, who told a pro-Trump crowd on Jan. 6 that “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

In the tapes, McCarthy suggested that Brooks’ comments were “almost something that goes further than what the president said.”

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